Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick Saturday Updates

So here it is the end of April...obviously it wasn't this month that I posted faithfully as promised in my 101 list...May...May will be the month!  (Oh, and there are updates on the 101 list-I'm slowly working on it as health allows.)

I wanted to do a quick list of what is going on here at the farm, in our little world, etc..(my BFF did a bulleted list and I thought...what a great idea!)
  • Boy's play is today.  It is so cute.  He ended up being "Fozzy bear" from the Muppets.  I've had several mom's tell me that they knew he wanted to be Elmer, but that he was the perfect choice for Fozzy...."! Wakka, wakka, wakka"  They did it yesterday for the video for an audience.
  • My parents are back from their winter hideaway.  Glad to have them home.
  • Easter was a quiet affair this year, because I got signals crossed.  So Boy cooked his first holiday meal and did a great job.
  • I've had 3 more doctor appointments since I last posted.  Still have TN.  Still have depression aggravated by having TN.  Went to see another Dr last evening...changed meds yet again.  I'm sure they will figure out the right cocktail soon.  Another appointment next week (?) to be referred out to the neuralogist (sp?) as the attacks are still doing a number.
  • We have two ducks sitting on nests.  They were the from the clutch of ducklings from last year.  We still have two drakes, but "Duck Stew" is going to be going to the processor soon along with a few of the hens.  I've never had duck, but have heard that Muscovy is the least 'greasy' of the ducks. 
  • We are now getting about a dozen and a half eggs a day...along with a few random guinea and duck eggs.  But it is an egg hunt on a daily basis.  They have picked a few odd places around the farm that they all seem to like to lay, so we have to check the corner of  Boy's club house (horse stall), in the rabbit nest boxes (that are in storage), the corner under the rabbitry, oh and 2 out of the 12 nest boxes.
  • We still have both kittens.  I took them out of the chicken brooder and put them in their own cage.  We I went back later, I apparently didn't latch the cage well because they were both gone.  After hunting through the barn (in the dark--only with a headlamp) I gave up and went to check on the baby chicks....only to find the kittens in the sleeping pile of chicks...Oh well!
  • The garden is about to go in.  We've been working (in between the periods of pouring rain) to get all the stuff yanked out.  I'm going to try a different method of planting this year.  I was told by a local, that if you till the soil, it restarts the horseweed (otherwise known as ragweed!),  So at least in the tomatoes and peppers, I'll only till the rows where the plants are going and leave the rest untilled.  
  • The root veggie patch will still be completely tilled.  I've chosen a new area to add corn.
  • We are about to add some bigger animals.  We will be using Joel Salatin's model to have moveable pastures to grown broilers (chickens), a dairy cow and a few mowers (goats).  Possibly even a "salad bar beef" (Grass fed meat) cow, and a few pigs.  Also, we are scheduled to go look as some meat rabbits. (New Zealands this time.)
  • This week will be getting the rabbitry bleached and sanitized for the new rabbits.
  • Both the push mower and riding mower refuse to start and have taken the last spin, so we are looking for a cheap mower until the animals can get the fields under control.
  • We have gotten a set of solar panels that we are excited to figure out!
  • I have found some crazy ideas on the internet that I am going to see if I can make work here.  I'll keep you updated on this...but one of them involves lots of pop bottles, another a bunch of cans!  Good thing we like soda pop!
  • We watched a DVD the other night, Food, Inc that reinforced our position of eating locally and in season.  I am still going to the grocery store...and I know our sodas are not healthy or local, but that seems to be the only thing I am buying there anymore.
  • I changed the 1001 cupcakes on my 101 list to 800 jars canned.  And I have some unusual recipes for new jellies this year!
Well, my bulleted list is just as long as a regular post. And I'm not done!!  No, I'm not wordy at all!!  :)  I WILL POST EVERY DAY in May!!   Even if it is only short.  Tune in.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Really...we aren't cat people....

So I'm driving home in the dark last night...going down our country road.  There was a car ahead of me and I see him swerve.  So I slow a bit down and then see what he was trying to avoid.  Two very small crawling things in the road.  VERY SMALL.  I missed them and then stopped.  Wrestled with myself...look into my feeble mind  "we are NOT cat people.  Boy and Man are very allergic to them...Man worse than Boy.  We do NOT need another mouth to feed.  But they are so small..and it's supposed to get down to 35* tonight...I can't believe someone would dump kittens on a country road...we do NOT need cats...well maybe one as a mouser in the barn might be one is taking cats...if they go to the pound....I could put them on Craigslist.  No Cats!! " Meanwhile Boy is sitting there "Mom, what are you doing?  Why are we just sitting here? Where are you going?  What's that?  Mom?!?  A cat!  Another cat!! Can I keep them??"

The black one is "Tom" and the Honey-colored one is "Molly".  We put them in a box in the chick brooder last night to keep them warm.  The box seemed to come up to the mesh, but this morning we found Molly..

Sleeping with the chicks!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This morning, my DH said that he thought all my bees were gone.  Couldn't hear anything.  Bummer.

Then they left for the first fishing trip of the spring/summer and left me home with my cold.  Yes, isn't that fun!  My new anti-seizure meds lower my immunity and make me more likely to get...well....anything, it seems.

Anyway, as I lay on the couch feeling like a slug...I though..let's go check on the bees.  There are some flying in and out....ones with "saddlebags".  When a bee is heavy with pollen, it is all on their back thighs looking like yellow, orange saddlebags.  They are neat to see and the color seems to depend on what kind of pollen they are finding.  The weather channels pollen report says there is no pollen bees do NOT agree.

So, let's crack it open and take a look.  Crack is literal, because bees make a glue that glues all the wood together and you have to use a tool to break the seal.  The top "hive body" is basically empty with a dozen or so bees....hmm....I'm not so sure about this...

Bottom body....full of bees!
I was slightly impressed with myself as I had only planned to peek, so I didn't take the smoker or my veil.  And I sat down with a chair and went through each frame pulling it out to look for the queen.  I couldn't find her, so I may need to find me a queen soon.  I'll give it a few more days and check again.  There were a few clusters that she may have been in. 

With no veil!  There was buzzing in my ears and them flying all around me.  I kept calm and just slowly went about what I was doing being VERY careful not to kill any of them.  That's what sets off the alarm that makes 'em ALL mad.  Danny, the dog, was not as successful as I think he was stung a few times for sticking his nose where it didn't belong.

I tried to get a picture of a "saddlebag'ed" bee, but it was quick to get busy loading it into the hive.
And what we always want....


So now I am back inside, reading some of my bee books and getting excited and wanting to make bee soap (honey soap) and candles, and eating bread made from our fresh ground wheat, eggs from the back yard, and honey from the front yard.  WHAT FUN!

Monday, April 4, 2011

My 1st Pie.

I wasn't going to make a big deal out of this, but both Boy and Man told me I HAD to take a picture of my first pie for the blog.

I dressed up left overs to make chicken pot pie....